York & North Yorkshire

Claudia Lawrence: Major Crime Unit to review disappearance

Claudia Lawrence. Picture: North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Claudia Lawrence, who was 35 when she disappeared, was last seen on 18 March 2009

The investigation into Claudia Lawrence's disappearance is to be reviewed by a new major crime unit set up by North Yorkshire Police.

Claudia, a chef at the University of York, was last seen on 18 March 2009. Detectives believe she was murdered.

The force said the unit would assess several "stalled" cases when it opened in October, including the disappearance of a Harrogate woman in 1997.

A spokesman for Claudia's father said he welcomed the review.

'Fresh eyes'

Det Ch Supt Simon Mason said: "Over their history many police forces have a number of serious cases that, despite every effort to conclude them, have either stalled or remain undetected.

"Part of [the new] unit's responsibility will be to assess such cases to ensure all reasonable lines of enquiry were pursued to conclusion or whether developments in for example, forensic science, can open up new opportunities for investigation."

The Claudia Lawrence murder investigation has been one of the most high profile in the force's history and earlier this year Joan Lawrence said she had found police efforts to find her daughter "infuriating".

Martin Dales, a spokesman for Claudia's father Peter Lawrence, said it was good that "fresh eyes" would be looking at the case.

Officers will also look at the investigation into Marsha Wray's disappearance.

Mrs Wray has not been seen since she dropped her two children off at school in Harrogate on 24 January 1997.

A murder investigation was launched but no-one has ever been charged.

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